Published: May 30th 2012May 23rd 2012
I was silly to think the 10 hour time difference wouldn’t affect me. After waking up 1:00 pm, I dragged myself out of bed. I was not surprised to see the dark circles under my eyes. No matter how tired I was, I needed to get some food in my stomach. My entire family raves about the food at Harry’s Café, which they jokingly named Aunty Harry’s. At Harry’s Café you get the best sandwiches. They sell everything from halal meat to bunny chow to freshly seasoned chips. We crossed the street heading to Oriental Plaza. Oriental Plaza is similar to a bazaar, something of a swap meet in America. There are a variety of stores-everything ranging from clothing shops, electronics to samoosa stands. The Apartheid government created the plaza in the 1970s as an attraction in Fordsburg. A large number of Indian-owned shops were, and still are, housed in the Plaza.
Amidst these shops, we found Harry’s Café in the corner of the market. I walked in and ordered two Veggie Burgers. One of the best things in South Africa is how vegetarian-friendly the food is. At almost every restaurant and fast food joint you can find a vegetarian
entrée available, largely due to the high Indian population. And no it’s not just vegetables on a plate. Harry’s Café offered a vegetarian burger, paloney, and vegetarian sausages, all of which are made out of soya (soy).
As we waited for the food, a man approached the samoosa cart in the store. He demanded a samoosa from the café worker and hastily took the samoosa and ate it. The owner, a South African Indian man noticed the ruckus he was making and asked him to pay before he ate any more samoosas. The black man got offended and he began to raise his voice. He stormed off mentioning not wanting to listen to the white man or Indian man in his own country. He said 150 years back the Indian was born in India and they stole this country from him. (Personally, I think 150 years back the samoosa was also in India…just saying). I quietly watched as he left and soon things had returned to normal as if nothing had occurred. Shortly after, our food was ready and we went to pay. “That was unfortunate,” I told the Indian owner. He shrugged at said, “It happens...” He explained
confrontation like that was necessary. If he hadn’t confronted him, the black man might bring his friends back telling them the owner of the shop has no back-bone – that he would be an easy target to take advantage of. After paying 75 rands, about ten dollars, for our two sandwiches and a Ceres juice box, we headed back to my grandparent’s house to eat.
The sandwich was beyond delicious. Thick white toasted bread with a layer of hearty paloney, chips (potato fries) seasoned with salt, chili powder, and hints of lemon, topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onions all smothered with mustard and a spicy tomato sauce. It was heaven.